A Study of a Set of Nitrate-Based Pyrotechnic Strobe Compositions

Richard Harrison

Abstract:  The subject of this study is a set of simple pyrotechnic strobe compositions, containing only barium nitrate, a magnesium-aluminum alloy and sulfur, together with a small amount of nitrocellulose to act as a binder. Despite the fact that compositions of this type have been known for well over one hundred years, thare is still no consensus about how they work.

Observations of the compositions’ behavior by means of a variety of techniques were used to gain information regarding the chemical mechanisms that are most likely to be occurring during the dfferent reaction phases. While the findings support earlier suggestions for the nature of the flash reaction, they indicate that the mechanism during the more quiescent phase is different from that which has previously been proposed.

Ref: JPyro 2023 (1-6)

© Journal of Pyrotechnics and CarnDu Ltd

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